retrospect

journal entry from april 19, 2011

well, we’re pregnant. 5 weeks and 5.5 days pregnant, but who’s counting? (6 weeks on thursday!)

i’ve been so anxious about this pregnancy. it was unexpected (kind of). the timing’s not just right. i expected to have more trouble getting pregnant – or at least to experience “trying”. we just experienced “we’re tired of birth control” and here we are. or rather, here i am – since joel’s at his first night of mother baby clinicals tonight. ironic, no?

so i’ve been having a hard time with God for the past few months. sometimes mad, sometimes confused … just your run-of-the-mill spiritual desert (to appropriate a cliche). and then … i discovered we might be pregnant. and i begged. i allowed myself to get so emotionally attached to the idea (before the embryo even attached itself to me) and i cried and asked God for it to be true. i took a pregnancy test on april 6th and 8th. negative. last tuesday: negative (and yet …). last wednesday: negative (but is that a line?). last thursday: 2 positive tests. every negative test i cried and asked God to give us a baby now. but after the positives, i hopped straight to worry again. will it be ok? i can’t go through a miscarriage again. does my cramping mean it will die? what do i do if i start bleeding?

joel urged me to thank God and be patient, but i couldn’t see how i was supposed to thank God for a gift that wasn’t yet fully given, and could be lost any day. we already lost this gift once. i decided would thank him when i had something more to thank him for than an extra line on a pregnancy test.

but i had an epiphany tonight. i found an oasis in my desert, and i realized that God did already give this gift. this baby isn’t a gift promised – it is a gift given. if we have this baby, and in 4 years it is taken away by cancer or an accident, we will always be thankful for the time we had with it. but my time with it doesn’t start at birth, or at quickening, or even the first heartbeat. it is here now – each day i spend with it, exploring the mystery of early pregnancy and motherhood as my little it explores its new life – creating organs and shapes and a heartbeat.

and furthermore, i’m excited to participate in this awesome act of life-creation. God and i (and joel, to a different extent) are the only ones experiencing this little person right now. i am partnering with God. i am valuable. and i am thankful! so thankful that i had today with my baby. thankful for the past almost-week. for the past almost-6 weeks. God knows that i was already a mother when i got pregnant this time. God knows how much every “when you become a mother” has hurt, how a mysterious being came to be and disappeared within me over 5 years ago. and here we are again.

i’m not mad at God. i’m thankful! i’m thankful for today with my baby! i’m thankful that we get to have a baby right before it would have been convenient! i’m thankful for Joel, for everything about him, and that he’s taking a mother baby class – possibly helping in a childbirth right now.

tonight, i cannot do anything about the future of this baby, so i’m putting it in God’s hands. i’m thankful that He will accept it, and accept me.

so much has changed in a year. spiritually, i’m in a very different place: a better, more honest place. but God met me where i was at that day, and in the following weeks and months of scary early pregnancy. i had no idea then how relevant that message would be, and it is amazing to me to see how i was given the perspective and opportunity to be fully present in the short time that we had with sky.

and though this is the hardest thing i can imagine going through, God continues to sustain and remind. i am not thankful for what has happened in my story right now, but i am thankful for the comfort that has allowed me to survive this story. and i am thankful for the 39 weeks and 5 days i spent with our gift.

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7 thoughts on “retrospect”

  1. Dear Lani,
    I have quietly been reading along with your postings for some time now. When I do, I cry a lot.

    Today I purchased ‘Mother’s Day’ cards for various family members. Among the rest of the bunch I spotted a card that said something like, ‘This will be a hard day’, and inside were some kind words meant to give mommies like you an affirmation of your motherhood. I *almost* got it for you, but I wasn’t sure that I am someone close enough to your life to be sending you such a personal note. (I also didn’t like the design. Silly!)

    I want to tell you that your writing moves me deeply. The tragedy you and Joel have borne rips at this ‘old mother’s’ heart. I have had a bit of a rough year… I identified with my own motherhood so totally, that the ’empty nest’ thing has been harder than I expected. But you make me so grateful that I had so many awesome years of raising my sons. Thank you for opening your life up in the way you have. I’m praying that God will give you and Joel another child that stays. Grows up. And becomes his/her own independent Christ follower, so you can experience all the ups and downs of motherhood that you have longed for in your very much already a mother’s heart.

    Daily mercies,
    Katie Kruger

    1. thank you so much, katie. just knowing that you’re thinking of us means so much. i’m thankful and humbled that my writing has enhanced your love and thankfulness for the time you’ve had with your boys … that’s a big part of why i do it. i know it must be so hard for you to be so far from your kids, but we are so thankful for jared and joi’s friendship in our lives. they are wonderful people.

      with love
      ~ lani

  2. I was wondering if and when you would try again. We will be praying for you and this little one….

    1. hi lynn. we are figuring that out right now. we want another child as soon as possible, but are still taking life one day at a time. adoption has also been one of our goals for our family, so we are pursuing that process as well. we appreciate your prayer for us in this so much!

      1. Lani —

        I am so sorry—I read the post above and thought you were pregnant now, failing to realize that it was from 2011, not 2012. I’m sure my response was hurtful… We will be praying for God’s will and His timing for you.

        You may or may not know that the second of our 4 kids is adopted (from Korea) and our oldest grandson is adopted (from India). Adoption has its own issues and concerns, but—among other things—it gives us a great appreciation for our being adopted into God’s family.

        Again, my apologies. You and Joel have been in our prayers and will continue to be so.

        Lynn

      2. oh, no worries at all! i wasn’t hurt a bit. 🙂 i didn’t realize that you have adoption in your family – that’s really neat. we are excited about pursuing it; the question we are wrestling with is whether to do that now or later. thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement!

  3. Thank you—you are very gracious. Would be happy to share our experiences with adoption sometime, if you wish.. Take care….

    Lynn

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